What is urethroplasty?
Urethroplasty is a surgery that is indicated for the treatment of a narrowing of the urethra, also known as stricture.
It is a simple surgical procedure, usually performed under regional anesthesia. However, it can also be performed under general anesthesia, depending on the surgical technique chosen.
Why is it performed?
In men, the urethra carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body through the penis. On the other hand, the urethra is the tube that carries sperm from the testicles, seminal vesicles and prostate gland through the penis. In some cases, the urethra narrows, which can block the normal passage of urine. When this occurs, urine can back up into the kidneys, causing infection and damage to these organs.
In this sense, urethroplasty is performed to treat stenosis in case less invasive treatments are not successful or are not suitable for the patient.
What does it consist of?
During the surgery, which lasts between 3 and 6 hours, a series of incisions will be made in the patient near the area to be treated. The technique to correct the stenosis is selected according to its location and length.
First, the stricture is removed and then the loose ends of the urethra are sutured or the urethra is repaired with tissue taken from other areas of the body. There are some cases where more than one surgery may be necessary to repair the urethra, known as a two-stage repair.
Once the surgery is completed, the wounds will be closed with stitches and one or two thin tubes will be placed inside the bladder in order to drain the urine until the body is fully recovered.
Preparation for urethroplasty
Before the surgery, it is important that the patient informs the doctor about all the medications he/she takes, because in some cases it may be necessary to stop taking some of these medications before the operation.
On the other hand, it is essential not to eat or drink before surgery.
Care after surgery
After surgery, a series of recommendations should be followed to ensure a good recovery:
- Take the indicated medications.
- Respect the doctor’s instructions when showering.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects.
- Avoid making great physical efforts.
- Avoid sexual relations for 6 weeks.
- Do not drive until your doctor tells you to do so.
- Walk a couple of times a day.
- Avoid straining during bowel movements.
- Drink plenty of water.
Alternatives to this treatment
Urethroplasty is the best treatment to correct stricture, but there are other alternatives such as endoscopic urethrotomy, prosthesis or periodic dilations.